Why not an artificial eye in an increasingly artificial world? Maybe a team of scientists was wondering. The result? You have created an artificial eye that is better than humans. Yes, it mimics how human vision works. However, the image quality is significantly improved. This emerges from a study published by the journal Nature this Wednesday. The research was carried out by experts from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (China) and the University of Berkeley (USA). Both trust that it can be used to develop new applications in the field of robotics and visual prostheses.
The design of this biomimetic eye has a "high degree of structural similarity to the human eye". It is able to "get high-resolution images when single electrical nanowires are installed," the authors said in the study. You remember that the human eye has "exceptional image capturing properties". For example, an extremely wide field of view, high resolution and high sensitivity to light thanks to the spherical retina. Of course, it contains a large number of photoreceptor cells (about ten million per square centimeter).
However, they warn that the morphology and composition of the retina represent "enormous challenges for the manufacture of biomimetic devices". In other words, artificial replicas. To overcome these obstacles, the scientists developed a new design under the direction of expert Zhiyong Fan from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
It is an "electrochemical eye". It has a hemispherical retina that contains a group of high-intensity nanowires. They were built with the perovskite mineral. And yes, they can mimic the function of photoreceptors in the human retina.
They showed that this device can "see" by reconstructing images (the letters "E", "I" and "Y") that have already been seen by the artificial eye. A proof of concept was carried out. The authors point out that the images captured by the new biomimetic eye have a low resolution. This is explained because the nanowire group consists of only 100 pixels (each pixel has three nanowires).
However, they claim that this design has the potential to offer an even better resolution than it reaches the human eye. It is possible to increase the density of nanowires and achieve a factor of ten compared to the human eye. It would be necessary to see what we let him see. It should be worth it. If not, why have they created an artificial eye better than humans?